Seven Ways People Sabotage Their Health

1. Skipping Breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal. As you sleep, your body’s metabolism slows down, so when you wake up, your body needs food to run on. Would you expect your car to run on an empty tank of gas? Of course, not–then why do people think running your body without proper fuel? Unlike a car, your body can pull reserve from tissue and blood–however, this puts stress and strain on all organs. When you skip breakfast, your energy level suffers. Although, you think skipping breakfast to cut calories, therefore you can lose or maintain weight, you tend to eat more throughout the day to compensate for your hunger and may gain more weight. Studies have also shown that eating breakfast increases your ability to perform better mentally. For more information on healthy breakfasts visit Eat Right for Your Type.

2. Lack of Sleep: Research reveals that most people need at least 8 hours of sleep a night to function optimally. Many people sacrifice sleep in order to have enough hours in the day to get things accomplished. Instead, you need to sacrifice less important commitments and set a regular bedtime to get a full 8 hours in to avoid the effects of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation not only deprives you of energy, it has been linked to weight gain, depression, anxiety, heart disease, and insulin resistance, not to mention the mistakes that occur from limited mental alertness.

3. Smoking: You know that smoking is not just bad–but deadly for your health. The mental health diagnostic manual lists smoking as ‘passive suicide.’ The consequences of smoking include lung and throat cancer, premature wrinkles, an increase in men’s risk of impotence, and complication of pregnancies for women. And these are just some of the consequences of smoking. Nicotine is addictive for many, however, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. For help to quit smoking see my article,–For-Good–No-Relapses&id=388788

4. Alcohol–Excess alcohol or high calorie cocktails: Everybody’s got a vice, but some are worse than others. An average margarita has more than 300 calories, or three times the calories in a small glass of wine. Make a toast to low-cal cocktails-Champagne, Spritzer, Red Wine, Light or Regular Beer, Vodka or Gin and Soda. And most importantly avoid drinking to excess.

5. Sacrificing Your Skin for a Little Golden Tan: There is enough information that sun damages your skin, so why do people continue baking themselves in the pursuit of a golden tan? Sun tanning and skipping the sunscreen both increase your exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, which can cause premature aging and even worse, skin cancer. Tanning is simply not worth it. And with today’s tanning products–there is no reason to bake your skin in the sun or a tanning booth.

6. Avoiding Using Weights: Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights will not necessarily make you bulk up, an effect that many people, especially women, want to avoid. It’s true that when you start lifting weights or using a resistance training program, you generally gain a bit of weight before you start to lose it. That is because muscle weighs more than fat. If you want to get in shape, “pumping iron” will make you look trimmer and more toned, and will burn more calories even after your workout is done.

7. Forgetting Hidden Calories: Starbucks lattes and Jamba Juice smoothies might be a daily habit, but you could be consuming nearly all of your calories for the day in just one cup. Gourmet Coffee drinks, smoothies, sodas, juices, and alcohol are all high in calories. If you’re drinking these regularly and not cutting back on your calories from food, you could be consuming up to an extra 1,000 calories a day, which leads to weight gain. Limit yourself to one gourmet liquid treat once a week and drink at least 8 – 8 oz glasses of water a day. Also, processed foods with corn syrup sweeteners or sugar are adding to your calorie intake without your permission. Check labels on all processed foods for corn syrup or sugar content.